Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tip Tuesday

This week's tip is about turning rough glitter polishes into smooth glossy goodness.

I love glitter.  It's my favorite nail polish finish.  What I don't love is how most glitter polishes dry - rough.  Some dry and they're barely sparkly at all.  Others dry to a nice sparkly finish but they feel like a jagged mess to the touch.  There are ways to make them behave though, ways to get them glossy and smooth...

Read on after the jump for photos and details!

I needed a glitter polish to illustrate this tip.  The Milani One Coat Glitters immediately came to mind because they dry both dull and rough.  They're gorgeous polishes but they need some help getting glossy and smooth.  I chose Milani Purple Gleam to demonstrate...

Milani Purple Gleam, 2 coats on all nails
Index and ring are topped with my favorite glitter smoothing combo

Here's how to get that glitter polish glossy and smooth:

 Apply treatment, base coat, and as many coats of glitter polish as needed.

 Let the polish dry until the glitter adheres to the surface.  The polish doesn't have to be completely dry but it does have to be dry enough so that the glitter doesn't lift when touched by the brush on the next coat.

 Apply one coat of Poshe Super-Fast Drying Basecoat and allow it to set.  Most of the time only one coat is needed.  If the glitter still seems rough after the first coat a second coat should be applied to ensure a glossy smooth result.  Like it's name suggests, it is super-fast drying so this step doesn't take very long.

 Apply one coat of Poshe Super-Fast Drying Topcoat.

 Allow your super glossy, super smooth, super sparkly mani to dry.  It won't take long because both products dry very quickly.  And that's it!

Left nail - 2 coats Milani Purple Gleam
Right nail - 2 coats Milani Purple Gleam topped with 2 coats Poshe Super-Fast Drying Basecoat and 1 coat Poshe Super-Fast Drying Topcoat

Certain base coats are specially formulated to create a smooth surface over nails that have an uneven or ridged texture.  They get into all the tiny crevices and fill them while still drying to a smooth, uniform surface which is ideal for nail polish to adhere to. This is why certain base coats work so well when used to smooth glitter polishes.  Top coats aren't formulated to do this because they were made to be worn over nail polish, an otherwise smooth surface except in the case of rough sparkly stuffs.

In my experience I've found that base coats with a gel-like consistency work best for smoothing glitter polishes.  I've found the combination of Poshe Super-Fast Drying Basecoat & Super-Fast Drying Topcoat to work best for a couple reasons:

 It doesn't get bubbly.
 It doesn't make the polish thick.
 It dries very glossy and smooth.
 It doesn't discolor the glitter in any way.
 Both products apply easily.
 Both products dry very fast.

American Classics Gelous and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri used to be my favorite glitter smoothing combo before I began using the Poshe combo.  After applying my glitter polish I would follow these steps when using the Gelous/Insta-Dri combo:

 Apply base coat and however many coats of glitter polish needed.
 Allow to dry until the glitter has adhered to the surface.
 Apply one coat Gelous and allow to set for a minimum of 5 minutes.  
 Apply a second coat of Gelous if needed and allow to set for five to ten minutes.
 Apply Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat and wait for my mani to dry.

Why the Poshe combo so much better than the Gelous/Insta-Dri combo:

 The main reason:  Gelous thickens everything.  Most of the time it thickens the polish so much that there is a visible bump at the cuticle gap where the polish begins.  Ew.
 One of these products is bubbling and I think it's the Insta-Dri.  The bubbles are teeny tiny and form inside the layer of Gelous/Insta-Dri over the glitter polish causing a dulling effect.
 Dry time is quite long and tedious.

I have yet to try Glitter Tamer but my lovely friend  Sparkly Vernis has done an amazing review of it here.

 If you have any glitter smoothing tips I'd love to hear them!